E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matāwaka puta noa i te motu, ā , puta noa i te ao, nau mai, haere mai. Ko Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa tēnei e mihi atu nei ki a kōutou kua anga mai ki tēnei pae tukutuku o mātou, me kī, o tātou katoa.
Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa was formally established in 1988, with just a few lawyers in a Rotorua garage. Since then, the Society has grown to include a significant membership of legal practitioners, judges, parliamentarians, legal academics, policy analysts, researchers and Māori law students. We are a voluntary organisation, whereby our executive committee all work fulltime. We are proud to represent te iwi Māori in the legal profession and enjoy a healthy relationship with a number of groups including both the New Zealand Law Society and the Law Commission. We are very grateful to our event sponsors and to our members, who give their time and money to support this important kaupapa. Without them, we would not exist. In 2018, our Hunga celebrated our 30th anniversary, where our conference was attended by over 300 participants. We are no longer a small group of lawyers in a garage; rather, we are a large group of Māori who are lawyers, working throughout our communities for our people. So come and join us and our vision for Te Hunga Rōia Māori: Mā te Ture, Mō te Iwi – By the Law, For the People.
To mark the 30th anniversary of Te Hunga Rōia Māori o Aotearoa, we created four awards to recognise the efforts and achievements of our members:
– The Community Contribution Award
– The Excellence in Academic Writing Award
– The Te Pae Tata Award
– The Matiu Dickson Award for Te Reo and Tikanga Māori
These awards will be presented annually at our Conference. Please keep an eye out for our call for nominations mid-year.
To read more about the awards, click here.
Renika specialises in employment law, Treaty settlement negotiations, takutai moana matters and general iwi disputes. Having been raised in Taranaki, she is currently Executive Director at McCaw Lewis Lawyers in Hamilton, where she leads the Kahurangi Team.
She has previously sat on the Executive as Junior Practitioners Representative and Waikato Representative. She was part of the team that organised the inaugural World Indigenous Lawyers Conference in 2012.
Baden is a lawyer and mediator who has worked in sole practice since 2013. He started studying law at the University of Otago while working on customary fisheries issues at the Ministry of Fisheries. On graduating he worked at Te Ohu Kaimoana and then at a large, national law firm. That work has included assisting with several Treaty of Waitangi settlement negotiations and the operation of post settlement governance entities. He also helps mediate a range of other disputes that involve Māori. Baden’s other governance roles have included co-chairing the board of the Wellington and Hutt Valley Community Law Centers, as a board member of Te Ohu Rata o Aotearoa, and as a member of the Māori Patents Advisory Committee.
Rebekah has whakapapa to Te Tairāwhiti – to Rongowhakaata and Ngāti Kahungunu.
She studied at Te Piringa, Waikato University and have degrees in Law and History. She was admitted to the bar in May this year and work for the Māori Land Court judges.
Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Whakatōhea
Mihiata is a lecturer in University of Otago’s Faculty of Law. Her research focuses on public and administrative law and the Treaty of Waitangi. From 2011 to 2019 she was in legal research and advice roles in the public sector, first at the Law Commission and then in Crown Law’s Treaty of Waitangi team. She is on the board of the Ngāi Tahu Māori Law Centre and is a Barrister and Solicitor of the New Zealand High Court.
Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāti Pakeha
Following roles with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Wellington/Tokyo) and the Department of Conservation (Whangārei/Wellington) Paula returned home to Whangārei in 2014 where she worked in various voluntary community roles and project managed Waitangi Tribunal claims for Whangārei hapu.
In 2012 Paula completed a Bachelor of Mātauranga Māori with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and in 2016 completed her professional legal studies.
Paula was admitted to the bar in the Whangārei High Court in June 2017 and is delighted to be finally practicing law. A member of the Litigation team, Paula has a particular interest in employment, and ngā take Māori. She also volunteers as a mentor with I Have A Dream Charitable Trust working with tamariki and rangatahi in the communities of Tikipunga and Otangarei.
Kuru is of Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Ngāti Maniapoto and Waikato descent. He is an Associate at McCaw Lewis Lawyers in Hamilton, where he has worked since 2017.
Kuru works primarily in resource management and environmental matters as well as litigation before the Courts and Tribunal, including Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) matters.
He is also a member of the Environmental Legal Assistance Panel and sits on other whānau trusts in a volunteer capacity.
Kuru is from Taumarunui and grew up on the whānau farm. He is an avid sports fan and plays basketball and indoor netball. He also likes to get out hiking, kayaking and mountain biking. Most weekends, Kuru can be found spending time with his large whānau.
Ani is a Barrister specialising in Employment Law since 2001. She is a former Tumuaki Wāhine of Te Hunga Rōia Māori.
She is based in the Bay of Plenty with a focus on providing excellent service and practical results. She regularly represent clients at Mediation and at the Employment Relations Authority. She also helpsstructure employment agreements, policies and processes to prevent and resolve employment disputes.
A key focus of Ani’s practice is also preventing and resolving workplace disputes. She regularly runs workplace training on “Happiness and High Performance at Work” and other related employment topics.
Ngā Puhi, Ngāti Tukorehe, Ngāi Te Rangi.
Melissa is a solicitor working in Holland Beckett Law’s Property and Civil Litigation Team.
Melissa grew up primarily in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, in Te Teko and completed her degree at the University of Waikato. Melissa previously spent 14 years as a Primary School Teacher. After her admission to the Bar she became a Deputy Registrar/Court Taker in the Criminal Team at Rotorua District Court. She specialises Māori land law, Trusts and civil litigation.
Outside work Melissa is actively involved in tennis and is a member of the Rotorua Tennis Club. She joined Arawa Toastmasters Club in 2018. Melissa’s whakapapa connections are with Mataatua, Te Arawa and Tainui.
Barrister specialising in criminal defence law.
Lawyer, Tairāwhiti Community Law Centre.
Taranaki me Te Atiawa
Miaana is an Associate at Govett Quilliam in New Plymouth.
Miaana has experience in providing advice to clients on the application of Te Ture Whenua Māori Act 1993 (including the establishment and governance of Māori land trusts, succession to interests in Māori land, the rules of alienation of Māori land including the rights of first refusal to the preferred class of alienee, protection of wahi tapu sites, access to Māori land including roadways and easements, and partitioning Māori land and other title improvements) and providing general advice about Māori legal issues affecting individuals, whānau, hapu and iwi. She is interested in a broad range of commercial matters, with a particular interest in providing governance advice to corporate and commercial clients.
Miaana is a board member of the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce and a trustee of He Toronga Pakihi ki Taranaki and Priscilla Sandys Wunsch Trust. Outside of work she loves exploring the beauty that Taranaki has to offer.
Ngāti Rārua me Ngāti Uenuku
Sade graduated from the University of Canterbury in 2018 with a LLB and BA (Māori and Indigenous Studies, History and English). During her studies Sade was an executive of Te Pūtairiki.
Sade was admitted to the bar in October 2019, during which time she was working in the District Court in the Waikato.
Most recently, Sade relocated to Taranaki where she has begun practice as a solicitor at Govett Quilliam in New Plymouth working primarily within family law.
Tara is an Associate at Kāhui Legal.
Holding a conjoint degree in Law and Arts (double major in English and History) and a First Class Honours degree in History from the University of Auckland, Tara was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court in 2018.
She has assisted on litigation matters ranging from the Waitangi Tribunal, Māori Land Court through to the Supreme Court. She specialises in issues relating to the Treaty of Waitangi, including historical Treaty claims and Treaty of Waitangi settlements. She previously worked at the Waitangi Tribunal as a Research Analyst and then as Deputy Registrar.
Alex is of Ngāi Tahu descent. He currently works as an Employed Barrister at Walker Street Chambers in Christchurch. Prior to this he has worked as a Deputy Registrar, Probation Officer, at the Public Defence Service and as a solicitor in a private firm. Alex’s main area of practice is in criminal law, although he has acted in civil, employment and Māori Land Court matters previously. He completed his LLB at the University of Auckland, and later completed his LLM at AUT specialising in Criminal Law.
He also volunteers with New Zealand Cadets Forces, becoming a commissioned officer in 2015, where most recently he was in command of Tāmaki Cadet Unit in Otahuhu. Outside of mahi, Alex enjoys getting outdoors doing hiking, tramping, and archery.
Makareta grew up in Bluff and is proudly Rakiura Māori of Kāti Mamoe, Waitaha and Kai Tahu descent.
Makareta is a University of Otago graduate and was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court in 2019, now working at Walker Murdoch Law in Invercargill.
Makareta primarily specialises in private client work including family law and property law/conveyancing.
Makareta is on the Southland New and Young Practitioners Committee which organises events for young lawyers and encourages other young Southlanders to join the legal profession.
Outside of the office, Makareta enjoys spending time with whanau and spending her holidays at Ruapuke Island.
Awhina is currently a litigation solicitor at Anderson Lloyd in Ōtepoti. She is involved with a wide variety of work including Māori land law, judicial review, trust and estate law and professional negligence.
Awhina graduated from the University of Otago in 2018 with a LLB and BA (majoring in history) and was admitted to the Bar in 2019.
Prior to her mahi as a solicitor Awhina worked for Professor Jacinta Ruru and Nga Pae o te Maramaratanga on the Biological Heritage Customary Take Project.
Awhina is a co-representative for Ōtepoti and Murihiku. She can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ngāpuhi, Ngai Te Rangi
Ngāti Tūwharetoa, Te Rarawa.
LLB/BA Student at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington.